Why write?

Good question. Why do students hate writing?
  • It takes time to learn how to do well.
  • It's not something that comes easily to most people. We grow up learning how to talk, but we have to learn how to write. We can make sounds as soon as we're born, but we can't write anything until we have an idea of how language works, and we can make our hands and eyes work together.
  • There's the idea that you can't take the mistake back. If you make a mistake when you speak, the mistakes only exist as long as other people remember it. When there's a mistake on paper, it's there, and feels more permanent.
If you hate writing, remember these ideas:
  • Anthropologists think that humans have been using spoken communication for over 100,000 years, but we've only had writing for something like 6,000 years. It's not something that we just automatically DO. (Thank you, David Crystal.)
  • Writing is hard for everyone. It's hard for native speakers of English, too.
  • Avoiding things you hate doesn't make them easier to do. If you avoid writing, you're just making the problem worse.
  • No amount of excuses will ever make writing go away. Even if you hate writing with a passion, complaining and moaning and whining and belly-aching and bitching and crying and sulking will never, ever make writing disappear.
  • It's all right if you don't write as well as a native speaker does. You just need to know how to write to get what you need. (Remember the key: Language is a tool to get what you want.)
  • Writing may not be spontaneous, but that's good, because it means that you have more time and opportunity to say exactly what you want.
  • If you make a mistake when you're speaking, you can't take it back and make it perfect. When you write, you DO have a chance to fix what you created.
It's your choice.

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